Herder and Herder, 1967, 1969. First edition. Two volumes. Octavo, original gray and original black cloth, original dust jackets. Volume II Augustinianism) is mildly ex-library with only blank card pocket, and “Theology” written in ink, on the free front endpaper. A near-fine pair. Item #408
Pair of first American editions of Henri de Lubac's restatement and expansion of his controversial Surnaturel: Études historiques. The Mystery of the Supernatural (1967) and Augustinianism and Modern Theology (1969) were issued by the publisher in matching dust jackets but they were published two years apart and they are almost never seen together. "'Surnaturel' (Paris,1946) posed a critical challenge to the neo-scholastic tendency to differentiate between the 'natural' and the 'supernatural' destinies of human beings." (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). Consequently, De Lubac's ability to teach and write was restricted and Surnaturel was never translated into English. De Lubac resurfaced at the Second Vatican Council and The Mystery of the Supernatural was largely a clarification and re-statement of the interpretations "in the debate between de Lubac and his followers, on the one hand, and the Neo-Thomists of various stripes, on the other, about grace and nature." (Robert Royal, A Deeper Vision). De Lubac stresses in his Preface that he "has made no attempt to transpose, or even extend, the theories of the schoolmen" and that "he has closely followed the tradition he would love to see better known by adopting the expressions given to it by the great masters of scholasticism." Translated by Rosemary Sheed. Dedicated as "a token of gratitude to Father Gerald Smith, S. J., of Marquette University" with a quote from Etienne Gilson: "...let us listen to the advice of history: Return to theology."
The Mystery of the Supernatural was followed by its companion volume, Augustinianism and Modern Theology (1969), a further revision of "the chiefly historical study" in Surnaturel. De Lubac was at the forefront in Catholic thought in his correction of the distortions of Augustine's theories of nature and grace. It had become common, even for many Catholic theologians, to "think of natural things as somehow existing almost autonomously, in their own right, without reference to God. This separation had been intended as a way to argue against Lutheran and Calvinistic notions of grace, which seemed to some Catholic theologians in the sixteenth century and later virtually to obliterate nature." (Robert Royal, A Deeper Vision). Translated by Lancelot Sheppard. Dedicated "to the memory of Father Jules Lebreton and Father Joseph Huby." Both books were first published in France in 1965. Approbations.